With the world becoming more and more digitally knit, businesses have started moving to the virtual world, and are creating an online presence for themselves. The online entity and identity are given equal importance as the business itself. For few businesses (e-commerce, and content marketing) the online presence is the only presence and identity of the business.
Internet marketers strive to increase traffic to their online touchpoints, mostly their website. There are a plethora of ways by which incoming traffic can be increased. Few being placing context-based ads across the internet, engaging fans/followers on social media, and tapping into the vast world of search engine queries, or organic traffic as it is known. The search world, though has millions of search engines, is dominated by one, Google. How do you get your business to appear on Google's SERP (Search Engine Results Page), and drive traffic to your site?
The answer to that question lies in Search Engine Optimization, or SEO. We had earlier written about What is SEO? and the Evolution of Search Engine Competition. How is it that you optimize your site to derive maximum search engine benefits? SEO is a time consuming and multi-factor process. But the key to good SEO lies in two things. 1. Content of the site 2. Relevant Keywords to map to the content. Search engines crawl or spider your site, and read your content. This does not mean that the search bot reads every word, and relates it to the overall relevance of the site. Search bots scan the page and cross check with the keywords mentioned in the META tag for your webpage. By matching the content with the meta keywords, the bot is able to ascertain the relevance of the site, and thereby give your site weight, or preference, when the said keywords are being searched for.
Now how do you know which keywords are most searched for and how can you incorporate that in your content? Google has a Tool called the Adwords Keyword Tool. This is primarily meant for the contextual ads you place with Google, and for selection of the right keywords, you can use in the ads. But this pretty much can be used for your site and will give you the benefit of visibility. This is a very powerful tool, which every internet marketer should use, for optimizing the site, or for web advertising.
When you search for a particular keyword, a list of relevant and similar keywords shows on the screen. Along with the keyword, a few critical aspects are also displayed. These are:
- Competition: This gives you a fair idea of how many people are vying for visibility using the particular keyword. This falls into three categories. Low competition, Medium Competition, and High competition. A high competition will mean that your chances of showing up on the top SERP, depends on how strong your content is, for that keyword, in comparison to others. High competition keywords also mean that the climb to the top of the google results will be slow.
- Global Monthly Searches: This is the 12 month average of the no. of searches that the particular keyword receives from across the globe. This will give you a fair indication of how many times your site may be displayed on the SERP, if optimized for the keyword.
- Local Monthly Searches: This again is a 12 month average of the number of queries for the particular keyword, that have originated from your region, i.e., on Google UK, Google US, and the like.
Good keyword research, combined with relevant content with good keyword density, will improve search engine optimization, and drive more organic traffic your way. While selecting good keywords is important, it is also advised not to engage in keyword stuffing, which is nothing but spamming your own page with lots of keywords. Google constantly changes its keyword algorithm, and it penalizes webpages stuffed with keywords. The general rule is around 10 keywords per page.
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